13 Feb 2022 | All Abilities |
Prior clings on to win Inclusive Championship
by Martin Blake
New South Welshman Steve Prior battled an ice cold putter but held firm to win the Victorian Inclusive Championship today in a tight finish.
Prior, 45, two-putted the final green for a par to win by a single shot at 11 over par from the defending champion, another NSW star, Cameron Pollard at 12 over.
Prior (74-81) was dominating at stages of the second round but a double bogey at the par-four 17th hole left him precarious, particularly when Pollard rolled in a birdie putt on the same hole.
“I kept my eye on the scores,” he said later. “It got a bit tricky on 17. I went left into the trees and reloaded. I had a par with the second ball, but Cam had a birdie there. A three-shot swing in one hole was quite dramatic. The putter let me down big-time today. I’m striking the ball well, very happy with that, but the putter was off.”
Prior is no stranger to trophies having won multiple Australian Amputee Opens as well as tournaments in New Zealand and throughout Australia. He also played in All Abilities competitions at the Presidents Cup in 2019 and the World Cup of Golf in 2017.
But he was emotional today and he rated the achievement “very high up”. Asked what was next on his calendar, he said: “Probably a beer, to be honest! That might be the first thing.”
He will play the national amputee championships at Sanctuary Lakes in Melbourne this April. Nick Taylor from Port Kembla Golf Club won the inaugural Australian Wheelchair Championship which was played alongside the inclusive championships.
The New South Welshman who previously represented Australia in wheelchair basketball, scored 36 modified stableford points to win by three points.
"To have your name on the trophy as the first one ever is pretty special," he said.
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